Government records lower-than-expected deficit

March 13, 2024 4:53 pm

[File Photo]

Minister for Finance Professor Biman Prasad reveals that the government has recorded a net deficit of $114.9 million, which is equivalent to 0.9 percent growth.

While delivering his response to the President’s speech in Parliament today, Prasad says that the net deficit is much lower than what the government projected.

The Finance Minister highlights that the government has already collected $1.8 billion in revenues, which is almost half of what has been forecasted for the year.

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“Compared to the same period last year, total revenue collection has increased by 458 million, or 34%, and tax revenue is higher by 367%, or 31%. Similarly, non-tax revenue has also increased by… For the first six months, government expenditure totaled $1.9 billion, which represents about 44.1%, and we agree that it’s lower than what we expected.”

However, opposition member Sachida Nand believes the high cost of living and increased poverty are caused by poor fiscal policies.

“Of course it is, and a good government will make fiscal policies such that they stimulate growth and reduce the cost of living. However, in Fiji, this was not done, and our people were pushed with both hands towards poverty.”

The minister emphasizes the government’s commitment to implementing policies that support economic growth and alleviate the burden on Fijian households.